Thursday, 26 April 2018

How Nightmares Can Affect Addiction

How Nightmares Can Affect Addiction

We’ve all had nightmares before. Sometimes, the nightmare is nonsensical, such as being chased by a monster or falling forever. Other times, it’s more grounded in reality. We have a nightmare we lost a relative, or we have a nightmare about losing our jobs. For kids, nightmares are terrifying. For adults, most of us wake up, realize it was just a dream, and move on with our days.

However, if you have an addiction, nightmares can affect it greatly. First, let’s look at what causes nightmares in the first place.

The Causes of Nightmares

Nightmares can happen anytime, but there are circumstances that can make them more likely. If you’re stressed, you may have a nightmare. Grieving over a loved one can lead to nightmares. If you have a fever, this can cause some strange dreams. Eating before bed can increase your likelihood of having a nightmare as well.

Then there is withdrawal. If you’ve been addicted to something, and you try to get off it, nightmares can happen. This can happen regardless of the drug. Sleeping pills, cigarettes, alcohol, and hard drugs can all lead to nightmares.

Drug Dreams

Drug dreams, also known as narcotic nightmares, are when you have nightmares about relapsing, or anything else related to the drug itself. If you’re recovering from alcohol addiction, you may have a dream about drinking alcohol. Perhaps the dream will be positive, or be about you going into a drunken rage. Whatever the case, drug dreams can be dangerous.

Sure, it’s just a nightmare. You didn’t actually consume anything. However, a drug dream can make you want to have the experience again. This can lead to relapse, and you don’t want that.

Analyzing the Dreams

With that said, a drug dream can be an interesting look into your mind. Your dream may contain secrets that need to be looked at critically, such as triggers. In the dream, what caused you to want to take that sip or use that drug? Where was the setting? By looking at these circumstances, you can try to avoid possible triggers into relapse and keep yourself clean.

Write down your dreams and look at them later. Sometimes, the dream will fade fast, so as you wake up, write it down and look at it later. Also, if you’re stumped about the meaning of these dreams you can talk about your dreams to a therapist, who can figure out why it is you’re having these dreams, and what you can learn from them.

Since the dawn of humankind, we’ve tried analyzing our dreams to find meaning in them. Sometimes, there is no meaning. But for drug dreams, there usually is a secret your mind is trying to tell you.

Preventing Drug Dreams

They will go away on their own as the drugs leave your body. In the meantime, you can reduce your chances of drug dreams by:

  • Working out. Exercise can help calm the body and prevent you from having nightmares.
  • Try relieving any sources of stress you may have. Too much stress can lead to nightmares.
  • Relax before you rest. Dedicate an hour to unwinding. Take a hot bath, read a book, or do whatever it is that calms you down.
  • Don’t eat too close to bedtime. This can stimulate your mind and lead to nightmares.
Of course, there’s always a chance you may still have a nightmare even if you do all these things, but it can reduce your chances.

By conquering your nightmares, you’ll take one step closer to achieving sobriety. Don’t give into your nightmares.

By Marie Miguel

Marie Miguel Biography
Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health-related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.

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